Tragic Helicopter Crash Claims Lives of Two Lebanese Military Personnel

Two Lebanese military personnel lost their lives in a helicopter crash during a training flight in a mountainous area east of Beirut, according to a statement released by the Lebanese army. The incident occurred in the Hammana area, though the cause of the crash remains unknown at this time. Additionally, the statement did not provide details about the type of helicopter involved in the accident.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, has reached out to the army’s head, Joseph Aoun, to gather more information about the tragic incident. This helicopter crash comes at a time when Lebanon has been grappling with a severe economic crisis since late 2019. The crisis has resulted in the devaluation of the Lebanese pound and has pushed more than 80 percent of the population below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.

The economic downturn has also impacted public institutions, including the military, where soldiers have experienced significant reductions in the value of their salaries. To cope with the financial challenges, the army has made cuts to essential supplies, such as meat in soldiers’ meals. Furthermore, in an unprecedented move, the military started offering commercial helicopter rides to tourists in 2021 to generate funds for fleet maintenance.

Lebanon’s financial difficulties have made it increasingly challenging for the army to allocate sufficient resources for equipment, maintenance, and supplies. Joseph Aoun had previously warned that the ongoing crisis could potentially lead to the collapse of Lebanon’s army and other state institutions.

It is a heartbreaking loss for the Lebanese military as they mourn the deaths of their personnel in this tragic helicopter crash. The investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, and the nation remains hopeful for answers and improvements in the economic and financial conditions that have had a detrimental impact on vital institutions like the military.

Definitions:
– Lebanese pound: The official currency of Lebanon.
– World Bank: An international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of developing countries.

Sources:
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